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Giving an Insight to the next generation of Ashfield Meetings & Events managers

By Nicki Scott


It’s 2016, I’ve been a Project Manager at Ashfield Meetings & Events for over 2 years, and I’m starting to wonder what my next steps in the company will be. Aiming to progress as an Account Manager seems the most obvious and linear route, but what is it that they do all day apart from approve our finances?!

Fast forward a few months, and I’ve achieved my progression to become an Account Manager – finding out pretty quickly that the role is so much more than checking reconciliations all day.

Relating to this, it was at one of our regular managers meetings that we were discussing succession planning, and noticed that feedback from our teams was following a trend… ‘What does being an Account Manager actually involve? Is it the right move for me? Is it just approving the teams’ work all day?’ This conversation ended up sparking a new initiative: Management Insights.

As a company that prides itself on ingenuity, we wanted to provide a new, quality training programme for our Project Managers that would give them an insight into the role of an Account Manager and the opportunity to decide if this is the right path for them. With the support of our Senior Account Director, we set upon creating a syllabus, which focused on the keys pillars of our role: Operational Excellence, People, Finance and Client. We were keen for the sessions not only to be interactive, but for there to be optional tasks attached to each session. We wanted to give Project Managers an opportunity to gain on-the-job experience and expand their expertise. These tasks included aspects such as joining resourcing calls, leading team meetings and planning new starters’ induction schedules to name a few.

As a management team, we worked in partnership to ensure that the sessions were consistent, focused and energising for the group.

The programme was launched in October 2018, with a set criteria for Project Managers to meet if they were interested in applying. Fourteen Project Managers enrolled, and since this time three of those have been promoted to Account Manager, with a further four being promoted to Senior Project Managers.

Henrietta Coats who took part in the programme has said, “The Management Insights course has certainly given me a greater understanding of the Account Manager role. Not only has it given me the opportunity to learn about the reality of what’s involved in Account Management, it has also given me additional suggested learning to help with my development. I think this programme should be taken by every PM who wishes to develop their career at Ashfield Meetings & Events.”

Following the success of Management Insights, we are now working with current Project Managers to roll out Project Management Insights in the autumn. These sessions will be led by Project Managers and aimed at Project Executives who are looking to become PMs in the future.

As a manager who is passionate about staff development, I hope that these sessions continue to motivate and empower our teams to create the next generation of managers and company leaders.

To see all of our open positions and explore if Ashfield Meetings & Events career opportunities are right for you click here.

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